School Reports 2012: Publicis Chemistry

Publicis Chemistry was created last year after Publicis announced in January 2011 the £14.5 million takeover of the independent agency Chemistry and subsequent plans to merge it with Publicis Dialog.

Recent Orange work
Recent Orange work

Score: too early to score

Agency factfile: Publicis Chemistry
Type of agency Integrated digital
Company ownership Publicis Groupe
Key personnel Nigel Jones group UK chairman and chief executive
  Joe Garton chief executive
  Diane Charlton managing director
  David Prideaux executive creative director
  Jason Foo deputy managing director
Declared income £29m
Total accounts at year end 20
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Co-operative Financial Services)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 296 (+54%)

The move increased Dialog's head count by more than 50 per cent and saw the continued involvement of Chemistry's chief executive, Joe Garton, and the managing director, Diane Charlton. The pair oversaw Chemistry's move into Publicis' Baker Street offices and retained the same job titles.

Mike Welsh, the Dialog chief executive, also took on a senior role, while the top creative berth went to Dialog's David Prideaux, with Chemistry's executive creative director, Peter Harle, making the decision to leave rather than take on a position in the new agency.

With the management line-up complete, the agency knuckled down to winning new business. Publicis Chemistry's official launch in August also coincided with its first win: the social media and eCRM work for the dessert brand Gu.

Other new business soon followed from Co-operative Financial Services, Phonak, Alliance Healthcare, SHL and T-Mobile. It also managed to build on its relationship with Renault.

While Publicis Chemistry now offers significant scale and an impressive management line-up, it will be interesting to see if it can now create work that is talked about. DMA awards for Orange and SCA in December were a good start, but 2012 will be the year for the agency to demonstrate that it's not only one of the biggest direct marketing agencies but also one of the best.

How Publicis Chemistry rates itself: 7.5

"What a year. We created Publicis Chemistry out of a merger between Chemistry and Publicis UK's below-the-line brands. This meant moving 200 people into Baker Street to create one of the UK's largest integrated agencies. As if that wasn't enough, in our first five months, we won five pitches, as well as retaining and growing our Renault business. To round off the year, we even won a couple of DMA gold awards. Bring on 2012!"

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